Roundworm infection in pets is actually quite common, so there is no need to panic if you discover the infection early. Unfortunately, if left untreated, roundworms can cause major problems within your dogs intestines and digestive system. In kittens, roundworm is more serious. If left untreated, it can cause death. In cats, the condition rarely causes death, but it can cause digestive problems if left untreated.
Roundworms feed on living tissues, fecal matter, and dead organisms. Feeding can take place outside or inside of the pet’s body. Roundworms are easy to contract from casual contact with other pets, dog runs, parks, carcasses, and from fleas. When a dog or cat accidentally swallows an infected flea, worms can hatch in the pet’s intestines. Roundworm eggs can remain infectious for years, so keeping your home and yard clean and keeping your pet away from dirty dog runs and dead rodents is crucial to keeping him worm-free.
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One of the easiest ways to detect roundworm is to examine your pet’s feces. You should be able to see worms or segments quite easily. Roundworms can also be found around pets’ paws (from scratching around the anus). Before examining your pet’s feces and paws, it is important to know the difference between how certain parasitic worms look. Roundworms look like spaghetti and tapeworm segments look like grains of rice.
If you notice any changes in your pet’s behavior, weight or eating habits, he may have roundworm. Symptoms of roundworm include:
·Change in your dog’s appetite
·Distended abdomen in puppies
·Inability to exercise
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There are ways to prevent roundworms. One of the most important ways to prevent a serious worm infection is to have your pet screened for worms twice per year. If your pet is considered high-risk for worms, you should have him screened more than twice a year. High-risk pets live in condensed urban areas and they usually live in a home with more than one pet. Show pets and hunting dogs are also considered high-risk. Outdoor cats are at serious risk.
Caring for a pet with roundworms should be done only under the care of a vet. Most non-prescription medications do not work. Your vet will have access to a number of cutting-edge preventatives that are extremely effective against the most aggressive types of parasites such as roundworm, whipworm, hookworm, and heartworm.
In addition to preventative measures, it’s also a good idea to keep your pet clean and well groomed. You should also dispose of pet feces immediately. Never leave it in piles around your yard, dog run, in the litter box, etc. If you notice any of the symptoms of worms listed above, please contact your vet immediately.
Interested in alternative cures for dog worms? Speak with your vet about alternative cures or contact the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association to locate a holistic vet in your area.